A new post for those of you who are checking

The night air has cooled.  I can almost imagine a changing of the seasons, especially since the sun is setting earlier and earlier.  Soon, it’ll be dark at 5 PM and Christmas will come and go and we still will have no reason at all to wear a coat around here.

It’s been almost three years since my husband accepted a job here and moved, leaving me behind with the kids and pets and the task of packing up our house while preparing to sell it.  The whole family has been here for just over two years, long enough that the walls could use some paint and the dishwasher died and stuff seems to be piling up.

I never, ever think “I hope it doesn’t rain” because it just doesn’t usually rain.  I know my way around, though from time to time I do get my house numbers here confused with my house numbers there.  Which is weird.

My friend, Diane, once told me it takes a good five years to really feel at home somewhere and I suppose that’s true.  It certainly has never taken me less time.  So I try not to notice that some days go by and I haven’t talked to an adult other than my husband.  I assume that everyone here knows everyone else and that when the music stops, there will be no vacant seats.

Musical chairs.  Remember that game?  When the music stops, you have to scramble for a chair or you’re out of the game.

I guess I feel . . . out of the game.  Sidelined.  Sitting on the couch, wondering if someone will talk to me.  Yet knowing that the responsibility is mine.  And I’m too afraid, too tired, too busy to strike up a conversation.

And when I do have a conversation, it just sputters and dies.  You know?  Like, you have a nice visit with someone but you walk away thinking, “I am an idiot.  Why don’t I just shut up?” or you walk away thinking happier thoughts but when the conversation ends, that’s it.  You get in your car alone and drive home.

So, I’m feeling lonely.  And I’m feeling abandoned by the people who seemed to be friends.  And I’m feeling guilty for the friendships I didn’t tend to long enough, those friendships that withered due to my neglect.

I’m unbelievably busy and tired and exhausted from worrying about all manner of things that I have absolutely no way to control.  Every weekend is about soccer.  My calendar has appointments marked in it that fill me with unreasonable amounts of dread.  My desk is piled with folded laundry and a suspicious stack of papers.  I have both a toothpick and tweezers in plain view of my keyboard.  My computer monitor is lined with a rainbow of sticky notes with scrawled messages and reminders.  Last night, I completely forgot to pick up  my son after work.

This is what my life has become.

I have a lot of unanswered questions.

Tonight, I had to take my daughter and one son into town.  They had to be somewhere at 6:15 PM.  I invited Lola the Dog along and she went absolutely nuts while I put on her collar and leash.  We drove to town and dropped off the kids.

I had really wanted to just drop them off and go back home and lie in bed and play Candy Crush or read or watch television or nap.  But I bossed myself around and I lied to myself to get myself to put on walking shoes and getting the dog into the car.  I promised myself that I could just drop them off and go home.  But just in case, I was prepared for a walk with the dog.

And sure enough, that trickery worked.  I dropped off the kids and drove to the beach where I easily found a place to parallel park.  Lola the Dog was on good behavior and the sun glowed orange-yellow as it slid toward the horizon.  And we walked and heard waves crash and saw the sun set and saw the moon rise.

At one point, I had a moment of clarity, a feeling that my life is good, a realization that I am too quick to entertain all these ridiculous feelings, too willing to listen to the lying liar in my head who warns me of impending doom and terror and failure.


These are the good old days.


7 thoughts on “A new post for those of you who are checking

  1. Echoes of Carly Simon! My song of litany at times is Peggy Lee’s “Is That All There Is?” HA! Maybe I should say “was” my song because it sure hasn’t been that way since we moved to Michigan. How can a woman be 57 years old when she moves 2/3 of the way across the country and feel like she’s come “home” for the first time in her life?! And life is good…very good. There are a few wrinkles in the fabric at times but nothing that a touch-up with the iron won’t smooth out. I never realized how trapped I felt when I lived out West. Trapped by weather, trapped by family, trapped by obligations…oh, the list was endless. But there has been a true liberation of my spirit here in the upper Midwest. Why, I don’t know…moving and getting away from it all? But don’t most people drag all the old baggage behind them wherever they go? I ponder this a lot.

    I am at loose ends now that I don’t do the daily care for my grandsons anymore, now that they’re in school full time. But I’m working on my novel…I applied for a part time job in the schools…I’m going out to lunch with my daughter today.

    To quote another song from the past: “I feel good, I knew that I would” (James Brown, don’tcha know) and that pretty well sums it up for me too. Now, if only I’d get inspired to write something like my comment here in a blog post, HA!!


  2. Mel,
    I think you are too busy, and should have your children drop an activity or two. You need some rest. So sorry you have so little rain, my favorite weather.
    I’m glad you have the luxury/solace of the beach.
    I have been buried in health issues and details, measuring out life in capsules, scoops, and tablets, lately. I need a rest, too.
    We have been watching Downton Abbey dvds, late to the party. Those were the good old days. Except for the War, which is a debilitating exception.
    A key/crutch to muddling through is gratitude. A friend and I committed to sharing five things we’re thankful for, for 30 days, to jumpstart another friend out of a slough of despond. We’re two days from finishing. It does help.
    Onward and upward….


  3. one day your kids will be grown, on their own…plenty of time to do the things you long to do now.
    what better way to serve God, then tend to His children and reflect on His beauty.
    God Bless!!


  4. I remember some of those days. A lot of those days, actually. Now that my sphere of activities revolves around only myself, I often find I am becoming more and more lazy. I lope around – often not even dressing. I look out the window at my car, wanting something I left in it, yet too lazy to go down the stairs and outside to retrieve the item. Pure lazy.

    Some days I try to get up and do something. Last night, after fixing myself a second taco and having some sliced olives left over, I began putting them into a zip-lock bag to refrigerate, only to be told to stop being a mom!

    So, you could pray for the day when you are asked to stop doing all those things you now do on a daily basis. But let me tell you, it is a lonely place to be – my usefulness seems to have vanished. My mother was my role mother, and when I was young, all I ever wanted to be was a wife and mother. Now? Not so much call for my services. It is bitter sweet. And lonely.


  5. Also what Esther said… though I was lonely when my kids were little too. I didn’t try hard enough to keep up with my few friends, and they didn’t try hard enough to keep up with me. Now my kids are grown except for my 18 year old daughter who starts college Monday (!?!?) She is kinda dependent and I am okay with that, but I miss the little-kid days, the Band-Aid on the knee days, the walking to school together days, sigh…. now all I get is “When’s dinner?” Or if I look at her too much, the stinkeye and “What??” Oh well…. back to my rocking chair… lol


  6. I’m too tired to think. I LOVE what I am doing with my life, but I haven’t had a clear thought in about two years. Do you know what a bone-numbingly boring book “Good Night Gorilla” is to read seventeen times in one morning? Then, after four loooong days with kids, my husband forced me to go to a park for dinner with the four kids that I didn’t have to watch today. Not sure if I had a wonderful time or not, as I haven’t downloaded the pictures yet. I never know if I’ve had a good time until I see the pictures and remember.
    Like my own mother, I’m striving to ‘make memories’ yet I fear that like my own mother Alzheimers will steal my memories and mock me with them.


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